Saturday, April 17, 2010

Skin Cancer Biopsies: Everyone Should Read This...

I'm dedicating this blog post to all of my friends who enjoying laying out in the sun or frequenting the tanning bed. I used to be one of you. I am now paying dearly for it. Let me preface this and say that I have not touched a tanning bed since I was 19 yrs old (Read an article in Cosmopolitan magazine about skin cancer and I decided it was not worth the risk.) I wish that I had never started to begin with though because all of those years that I exposed myself to the sun and the tanning bed did enough damage to last me a life time.

What are the reasons you enjoy tanning? Does it make you feel good? Does it look flattering or give you a nice glow? Do those reasons to damage your skin outweigh the risks??? Here are some of the risks: damage to your skin, premature wrinkles, leathery skin, sun spots, freckles, moles, skin tags, scars from mole removal/ biopseys....and the biggie...SKIN CANCER. If you want a nice bronze glow, get a spray tan.

Is it worth jeperdizing your life by laying out or going to the tanning bed for a bronze glow? No.

On Tuesday morning I went in to see the dermatologist. While I was there he preformed 8 surgical biopsies -6 on my neck, one possibly cancerous one on my arm, and one on my back. It was one of the most painful, uncomfortable, and terrifying things I have ever experienced. I am pretty tough- I've delt with double foot surgeries at the same time, multiple ear surgeries, months upon months of physical therapy from a car wreck injury, and more heart related issues than I care to go into. Nothing remotely seems to touch the pain that I've been in since those biopsies. They were excruciating. It is now several days later and I still can not shower without being in immense pain (cleaning the wounds is aweful). It hurts to put the dressings on the wounds, and it is impossible for me to turn my neck/back in certain directions without being in immense pain. Now here's the kicker- I may have skin cancer from the mole he removed from my arm. Now I play the waiting game to get the results in. I'm only 24 years old.

I can't go back and change my past history of using the tanning beds or laying out in the sun. What I can do however is make sure that I protect myself with sunscreen and regular checkups. I also think that the best thing I can do is try to get the word out to all of my friends, family, and blog readers that tanning is dangerous. It can lead to a potentially deadly cancer. Most importantly- nobody is immune. Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, does not matter what your ethnicity is. Everyone can develop skin cancer; everyone should be cautious about using sunscreen and avoiding skin damage from the sun and tanning beds.

For those of you who think "oh, it won't happen to me," I thought the exact same thing. I thought I was young and "immune" to things like that. I am not immune; it does happen.
 I am only praying that my results come back negative. In the mean time, I want to share with everyone exactly what going through multiple biopsies is like. It is painful. It is nervewracking. It hurts. It's scarry. It's a wakeup call.

If my words don't speak to you, maybe my pictures will. They are not glamarous, they are not sugar-coated, this is real life, this is preventable, and this is something that nobody should have to go through:

Do your research, protect yourself:

1 comment:

  1. Just a little bit of a positive update tonight- I heard from my dermatologist's office today- the biopsies were negative for melanoma and other skin cancers. Thank God for answered prayers!!